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  Track And Field


We stand behind our athletes
Jamaica sits on top of the world as the most successful country per capita in track and field.

Thanks to the extraordinary performance of our athletes collectively over the past 60 years.

We spawned our first track gold medalist Dr Arthur Wint, who won the 400m gold in the 1948 Olympics. He along with other greats Herb McKenley, Leslie Laing and George Rhoden put Jamaica on the map in one of the greatest relays when the team won the 4x4 relay in the 1952 Olympics.

Jamaica's success at the Olympics and in international competitions continued through the years with athletes such as Donald Quarrie who won gold in the 200 meter and silver in the 100 meter in the 1976 Olympics to Merlene Ottey the track queen who has more international and Olympics medals than any other Jamaican.

Then Deon Hemmings came along and won the first individual Olympic gold medal by a Jamaican woman when she won the 400 meters in the 1996 summer games.

Ours is Asafa Powell former world record holder who still has record for running more sub-10 seconds 100 metres than any other athlete in the history of track and field.

And going under 10 seconds for the 100 Metres is a condition that is spreading like an epidemic in Jamaica as we now have nine of our sprinters with this superb accomplishment to their names.

Merlene Ottey migrated but we still claim her as our track queen.

And if Merlene is the queen then the indefatigable Veronica Campbell Brown, with her amazing record of achievements on the track would have to be our princess of the track.

And to cap it all, today Jamaica boasts the fastest man of all time in the 100 meters and the 200 meters, and the man who was a member of the fastest 4x100 meters relay team of all time.

Usain Bolt's mind-boggling achievements together with the accomplishments of all of our athletes epitomise Jamaica's prowess in track and field and validates our record as the leading country per capita in track and field in the world.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture salutes our athletes who will be competing in the IAAF World Championships in Daegu and in the London Olympics. We are looking forward to them bettering Berlin in Daegu and bettering Beijing in London.

The entire country is behind them.

Olivia 'Babsy' Grange

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture

Applauding a great vision
Jamaica has enjoyed a long and storied history in track and field and today commands the respect of the entire athletics world. We have engineered a system that has created a multitude of talent and global stars, who continue to establish themselves on the biggest of stages.

This is something that must be celebrated, and with the track and field calendar serving up a mouth-watering recipe of high-level competition over the next three years with three global championships on the radar and several other high-level meets, we are pleased that a product such as The Gleaner's 'Daegu to London' has been birthed.

As we delve into the glorious thrills and spills of the ongoing track and field season, it is with great excitement that the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Associa-tion (JAAA) welcomes this creative initiative.

We applaud the vision and the appreciation of what the sport means to us as a people and as a competitive entity. The JAAA believes that The Gleaner's 'Daegu to London' project will help to further elevate the local and international profile of our track and field athletes, principals, administrators, volunteers and the various stakeholders and interest groups that together, have made this one of the most important aspects of Jamaica's heritage, culture and source of national pride.

In addition to the focus on major international senior championships, I am particularly pleased to see the value that is being given to our major youth championships over the period - the IAAF World Youth and Junior Championships, as well as the Junior Pan American Games and the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Cham-pionships. We have invested heavily in the development of our youth talent and continue to witness the benefits of a strong junior programme. This is rightly being celebrated and given the attention it deserves.

The JAAA stands beside The Gleaner Company on its quest to add a heightened value on the sport and we fully endorse the 'Daegu to London' project and wish for the company, the very best in its grand endeavours.

Howard Aris,

President, Jamaica Athletics

Administrative Association

Looking forward to some excellent coverage
I am extremely pleased to learn that The Gleaner is embarking on a 14-month special coverage of athletics dubbed 'Daegu to London'. The Gleaner has given effective coverage over many years to the sports fraternity and must be commended for its efforts in this regard.

I do recall, albeit fleetingly, the coverage given in my youthful days to various sporting events and particularly in boxing, cricket, football, swimming, table tennis, tennis and of course track and field. In those days before the television set and the radio became household items in Jamaica one depended on The Gleaner to bring us the news locally and internationally. The coverage of the 1948 and 1952 Games, when great Olympians Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley and George Rhoden burst on the scene are etched in the memories of many Jamaicans.

The newspaper has continued in this vein over the years and I can recall the excellent coverage given for the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1962 and the Commonwealth Games in 1966, both of which were hosted in Kingston. Your coverage in subsequent years of events like the World Netball Championships in December 1970 to January 1971, the World Junior Games in Athletics in 2002, the World Netball Championships in 2003 and the Cricket World Cup in 2007 was also commendable. The Gleaner must also be commended for the high quality journalists who have covered major games e.g Richard Ashenheim who reported on numerous Olympic Games and World Championships in Athletics and in recent times, Elton Tucker who has been doing the same.

It is therefore very commendable that The Gleaner, in its inimitable style, will be providing coverage over a 14-month period of the various activities and Games in track and field and other sports for which our athletes will qualify, leading up to the XXX Olympic Games in London in August 2012.

I close by thanking The Gleaner for its foresight in this special effort. I look forward to reading the articles written to keep our athletes performances in the public eye on a continuous basis over the next 14 months. Those articles will no doubt stimulate our support for all athletes, in so many sports, who have to sacrifice so much to prepare for these competitions. I am confident that The Gleaner will provide the excellent coverage for which it is known. I am also confident that the publications will receive the wholehearted support of all Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora.

Michael Fennell

President, Jamaica

Olympic Association

Get into the game
Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) is very excited to partner with The Gleaner Company for its unprecedented 14-month long 'Daegu-to-London' special track and field coverage launched today.

Our athletes remain our cherished treasures and we are very happy to collaborate with The Gleaner's Daegu-to-London special coverage. We have no doubt that this unique coverage will bring all the updates, news, reviews, spills, thrills and photographs of the historic moments of our athletes, as they compete over the next 14 months on the local and international stage.

SVL's support for track and field started in 2004, three years after the company commenced its operation in Jamaica. Our support since then has continued today, in a year in which we will celebrate our 10th anniversary on June 25. Incidentally, this is our eighth consecutive year of exceptional partnership with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), investing $9.3M towards its 2011 Track & Field programme and an overall investment of $30M so far since this great partnership has started.

It was our belief since then that based on the talent, structure and rich history that have endowed us over the years; Jamaica's track and field programme will gradually evolve and this is indeed a testament of what we are experiencing today.

We congratulate the JAAA's on the work that it continues to do, in ensuring that our best athletes represent us, at all times at the highest level.

As a good corporate citizen, we are very proud that we have been a part of this journey in helping to develop our local track and field programmes.

Today we have only re-established and extend our support, investment and commitment to track and field, through this unique special coverage of Daegu-to-London with The Gleaner Company.

The 14-month long coverage will enable Supreme Ventures Limited and its sports betting brand - JustBet, an awesome opportunity to showcase the various betting offering that will be made available during the various competitions. These include the Diamond League meets, the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Daegu, South Korea and the 2012 London Olympics.

We urge our track and field loving fans to get into the game with JustBet and share in the historic moments that we all are anticipating.

We commend The Gleaner Company on the conception of this wonderful Daegu-to-London special track and field coverage. We anxiously await the great moments that will be captured and unfolded from what we no doubt believe will be excellent and exciting coverage.

Sonia Davidson

VP, Corporate

Communications, SVL

Proud to be supporters of Jamaica's heart and soul
PUMA has long been a supporter of Jamaican Track & Field, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and the Jamaica Olympic Association. The country, its culture and its athletes bring to bear a vibrancy and energy that echoes the PUMA brand. We share a similar personality - sometimes off-beat but always entertaining and keen to mix things up. Through the years, PUMA has featured lines of Jamaican-themed shoes and apparel. But what we are most proud of, however, is our relationship with Jamaica's track and field stars. The country has a phenomenal record of developing some of the best sprinters of all time, including such greats as Arthur Wint, Merlene Ottey, and Don Quarrie.

Among the most celebrated stars to emerge from Jamaica is three-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, Usain Bolt. PUMA first encountered Bolt when he was 14 years old and recognised him as a talent to watch. And not just on the track as he showed signs of super-human speed, but off the track as he moved through life with a great sense of humour and sense of play. His unique blend of athleticism and fun was an ideal fit for our sports lifestyle company and since the age of 16, Bolt has been an enduring partner and brand advocate.

PUMA continues to foster young talent through our sponsorship of seven high school track and field programs and events - most notably, the ISSA Jamaican Boys & Girls' Champs, lauded as the most popular sporting event in Jamaica. Many of the world's most renowned sprinters hailing from Jamaica competed at 'Champs' as high school student-athletes.

Track and field is the heart, soul and pride of Jamaica. It is the national sport. The country puts a high level of support behind its young athletes, and PUMA is proud to be associated with this development. We've seen greatness prevail and Jamaica - a small island with only 2.8 million people - is forever a leading contender to win medals in track & field. We hope to continue the good work of funding and fostering emerging young talent on the island of Jamaica.

Heading into the London 2012 Olympics, PUMA has also forged a partnership with Cedella Marley, fashion designer and daughter of Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley, to design the Jamaican track and field team's Olympic performance, podium and ceremony wear. PUMA's partnership with Cedella underscores our long-team creative and innovative commitment to the Caribbean nation, with its rich cultural heritage, global music contributions and its unparalleled dedication to athletics. And the best is yet to come, as PUMA approaches this pivotal Olympic year. Stay tuned!

Jochen Zeitz

Chairman and CEO of PUMA AG

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